Monday, 25 May 2009

Common tern on the menu & watch point feedback

Please note: there will be a Watch Point on Friday 29th May weather permitting!

Given the rain, today's watch point (Weds 27th) has been cancelled.


Joyce Sawford, one of many who visited the top of the tower today, took this photo of a cached common tern in a lead gutter on the West side of the tower.



Common terns have been recorded as prey items before at Derby - as has one specimen of the very closely related arctic tern. This bird was wearing a Swedish ring when it was taken by one of the peregrines - probably in late April/early May 2007.



The bird's remains, including the leg and ring (see photo) were found on the nave roof in August of the same year when Tony and I went up to clean out the gutters. Checking with Swedish ringers, the bird had been ringed as a chick in June 2002 - so it was nearly five years old when it died.


This tern species migrates to the antarctic every winter - one of the longest migrations of any bird on the planet - so this bird (and its ring!) had travelled maybe 100,000 miles during the ten migration flights it had made......a remarkable traveller!





Common terns breed locally in the River Trent valley nearby, nesting on islands and special rafts on reservoirs and gravel pit islands. Arctics, by contrast, are coastal breeders. This bird was probably blown off its usual migration route up the English Channel by strong Easterly winds in late April, forcing it NW to Derbyshire where a flock of 80 was observed at that time at a local reservoir....a fascinating story!

Report on today's Watch point (25th) and tower tours from Andy and Chris:
( Many other activities were also taking place today) Many thanks to Helen and Celia for their help on the watchpoint which became very busy at times.Today started well with ideal weather for watching the birds, warm and slightly overcast followed by a little sun.On arrival the male was sat on the waterspout, the female on the edge of the nest platform and a chick was showing well, pulling some of the down from his body to reveal the feathers now well formed beneath. Some of the down became stuck to the top of mums head for a short time, (Wayne has a picture of this).We had a good turn out of visitors, some regular and some visiting for the first time. It is always great to see everyone and have the opportunity to share views of the birds with them. I hope those who visited for the first time but are regular visitors to the website now have a better idea of where everything is placed.At approx 11am mum flew of and was gone for some time, leaving dad in charge. When the first of the tower tours reached the roof, dad flew displaying nosily but quickly settled after they departed. (There are strict regulations restricting access to the area on the roof nearest the nest to minimise disruption.)Dad flew off leaving the chicks alone for a time. The chicks are now happy to be left and were flapping their wings which were visible from the watchpoint below. Mum returned without any prey and called for the male who she appeared to be able to see but we could not. Two buzzards flew high over the watchpoint at approx 2pm tracked by the male, however they were clearly too far away to be considered a threat. The watchpoint closed at 2.30 when the first few spots of rain started to fall. Wow what timing!!


Nick B (DWT)

134 comments:

Anonymous said...

The feathers in the nest are from the tern pictured on the introduction.
We are hoping to put a report of todays watchpoint on shortly.
Chris M

Anonymous said...

i did not manage to get to the watchpoint today as planned, is there anywhere i can get pictures from

wayne1984 said...

Hi there just got in from the watch point day, and have to say not an awful lot happened. the male dissappeared yet again. the female flew about a bit due to the tower climbs but nothing serious. the male showed up later on, and was bombing a buzzard. but not alot really happened. i am told there was a common turn found up on the tower.

Roger (AT) said...

@ Chris M:
Thanks for adding the Common and Arctic Tern information, the expansion makes the photograh worth a lot more than a cursory glance.

I did not read the introduction very carefully and thought that the one in the picture had been cached for nearly two years! It would have got a bit chewy by now.

I suppose the peregrines do not think that a thunderstorm is brewing up - otherwise their cached meal will get washed away!

Looking forward to hearing some first hand accounts, and few Flickr postings.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi all
I made the trip up from Aylesbury today and had a great time. The Tower Climb nearly knackered me, but it had to be done! It was great to meet Tony again and Nick B for the first time. I was also delighted to meet Colin plus his very special passenger and also Wayne. The sun certainly shone on the righteous today, some nice sunshine (whereas Whit holidays for the last 2 years have been pretty grim). I've posted a few shots on flickr of the day - the watchpoint, inside the tower etc. Please don't laugh at my tiny speck of a peregrine picture - in my exhaustion, I forgot to change the lens (doh!) It's certainly not a patch on the brilliant picture that heads this entry - but at least it might give people who can't visit a flavour of what they are missing.
Good luck with future watchpoints and many thanks to all of the people who make it all possible.

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

Thanks to all who helped at, and visited, the Watchpoint today. Extra thanks to Andy & Chris who each climbed the tower twice to help with the Tower Tours - decidedly beyond the call of duty! It was also good to meet faithful bloggers and to put faces to names. It was a very successful day and perhaps we will repeat it sometime.
Tony

Phoebe said...

Hi, I enjoyed Watchpoint today and the Tower Tour, it was very interesting to hear the history of the Cathedral – thank you John for taking us up and telling it’s history!

I saw the Common Tern in the waterspout and a few people photographed it.

Thanks also to Andy who explained about the Peregrines. It was good to see the live web cam. Unfortunately when I went up the Tower there was no air activity from the Peregrines - I was hoping to get a closer photograph. The views from the roof of the surrounding area were stunning! I got some good photographs.

There were also good views from the Cathedral Green of the Falcon flying around and giving out an alarm call when a Buzzard was in the area.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day and I would highly recommend it!

It was nice to meet Nick and put a face to a name.

Thanks to everyone concerned.

Phoebe

Roger (AT) said...

@Sue: Great posts on Flickr. They really add substance and orientation to the web-cam views and watcher comments.

If your high bird was smaller and just a speck in the sky, I would so happy if it was MY souvinir - it would mean that I had been there, and seen the birds with my own eyes.

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

@all
There are so many anonymous's on this blog it gets very confusing!! Is it too much to ask people to use/get a Google Identity (it is free), or at least give a name and location at the end of their comment? Then we can all see who is making a comment or asking a question. We like to think this blog is very much a 'family' and I am sure we would prefer to use a name than an obscure 'anonymous'.
Just a thought.
Tony

Karen Anne said...

It's great to see the Watchpoint and tower photos on Flicker, it makes me feel like I'm really there.

Now I know I'm not climbing the tower when I visit though, I still have vertigo from one of the photos :-)

The Cathedral is really beautiful.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi @Roger
I'm glad you liked my attempts at a photo record. I especially likes the gents toilet in the bellringing loft (constructed during WWII apparently when the gents had some long watches). And yes, seeing the birds was a big thrill but another very special thing was to HEAR that wonderful cry the peregrine makes - it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! I still have aching legs from the tower climb and I'm very impressed by the olympian fitness of the guide who took us up. Apart from the main attraction of the birds, we learned a great deal about the history of the tower and cathedral and there was a brilliant "shop" and display in the back room of the cathedral. Especially impressive were the pictures done by Derbyshire schoolchildren. As Nick B pointed out, they were carefully and accurately done, even down to the 2 rings each chick now bears being depicted on the correct legs.

Phoebe said...

I have put some photos of today's visit on flickr for anyone who would like to view them.

Joy said...

Would have loved to have come down today but didn't feel that we would have got in and therefore two disappointed grandchildren. I expected there to be massive queues

wayne1984 said...

has anyone seen a feed during the day at all? i for one have not so i am a little concerned due to the fact noone has posted anything since 05;11 this morning so i was wondering if the feeds have just gone unoticed. also if there is anyone who would like any of the photos i have taken then please do contact me about this, i know colin also has photos on display at the cathedral shop as well.

Terry, Herts UK said...

Don't worry, Wayne. They were well fed on Monday afternoon.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Yes I saw at least one feed today I put a couple of pictures on the pool. Have more also but not got around to posting them. They all got a good feeding.

Roger (AT) said...

The chicks are on their own at the moment. Three were busy scampering around the tray and excercising their wings, the fourth is just watching and preening a bit.

They really move quickly now, getting a good screenshot with them together is hard to do.

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast served at 6:15 - 2 shots on Flickr.

Grrrr Flickr says I need to upgrade to Pro as I have uploaded 200 shots.

Phoebe said...

Was there something going on at noon today? I notice one of the parents on the pudding-cam was looking up and down a lot for about an hour, were there any tower tours?

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@Joy
Are you local to Derby? If so, I'd say DO go and look at the Watchpoint, even if the Tower isn't open. There are some really nice and knowledgeable people down there and they have telescopes trained on the nest platform. The Tower climbs are good too, and I know the cathedral has more planned - not specifically peregrine associated ones but given that you can't approach the platform side at the top, they'd be pretty much good as.
@wayne - yes, there were some super pictures of Colin's at the "shop". There were also some brilliant photos of the chicks being ringed available to order from Dawn (Tony the Verger's wife).
Ref the feeding situation - I'm sure our chicks aren't starving (looking at the whopping size of them) but there must be masses of "emergency" bits and pieces for them to snack on judging from the large numbers of flies now to be seen around the platform. I think our intrepid four will be relieved to get airborne soon and away from platform that must be becoming quite horrid by now. I feel sorry for whoever gets the eventual "clean up" job!
@Karen Anne - the bit that gave me vertigo was to look at the wall at the top of the tower and to think about some crazy fool launching over the top to abseil down for the ringing! Tony told me there are even worse stories - like people in olden times lowering a poor old donkey down (why???? maybe they're all a bit strange in Derby ........)

Phoebe said...

Looks like feed time...

wayne1984 said...

@Sue hi i know there was some pics in there on display. some of mine were too. that is what i was saying to the anonymous post dated 25th may 2009 @18.57 it was a pleasure to of met you and hope to see you soon

Karen Anne said...

Seems to be feeding time, but the parent has his/her back to the camera, so I'm not sure.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

@wayne
Hi, it was great to meet you too - and I hadn't realised some of the pictures were yours too. All of the pictures were beautiful, there are some brilliant photographers and artists in Derby - what a talented lot you are! I still like some of the little kids paintings though, especially the ones with 4 baby peregrines flying over the cathedral. I thought of Nick B today - I heard him talking about red kites on Monday. We don't have peregrines here (shame!) but the way I came home from work today, I pass through "red kite city" and the air was thick with them. I'll have to change my "no kites on county hall" blog pic to a red kite - except knowing my luck, it'll turn out as a little dot again!
While writing, does anyone know how you can add groups to flickr rather than individual pictures. I'd hoped to be able to do that because the the heading would have been better ie I'd have called it "Watchpoint 26/05/09"

Phoebe said...

@ Sue - I use the organize feature, in that you can add individual or sets, click on organize at the bottom and it will take you through it. Good luck.

Phoebe said...

Feed time, something black now.

Phoebe said...

Some pix of 8pm feed on flickr.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

The info at the watch point included a list of species the peregrines are known to have caught. It ended up by saying ".... and one brown rat". Given everything else is taken on the wing, how on earth did they manage to catch a rat????
I've just learned of a bird seen in Bucks in April that they'd never manage to catch. Here is the bit of the relevant report
"Bird Report – April 2009
The highlight of the month has to be the White Stork seen flying over Terrick, near Wendover". That's a bit of a turn up for the books here in Bucks - we may not have peregrines but we have storks!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi @anonymous
Thank you for your two lovely comments - we so enjoyed reading them, they added such clever and educated thoughts. Please can you tell us who you are though so we can thank you properly (see the diary entry from Derby Cathedral earlier on)

Anonymous said...
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Karen Anne said...

Sue,

Please don't take the troll's remarks to heart, we regulars love your posts. Hopefully one of the Nicks will erase the pigeon guys' posts again soon.

Meanwhile, let's ignore them as we've been asked to do.

Terry, Herts UK said...

There was lots of wing stretching and flapping today after their feed. I wonder if they get itchy as they shed their white down - ?

Just my opinion, but it looked to me like #1 is a tiercel (he's lost much more down than the others and flapping a lot, which the others seemed to mimic today), 2 and 3 are falcons, and #4 is another tiercel tiddler, like last year.

Karen Anne said...
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Terry, Herts UK said...

4am BST

All 4 eyases huddled up together (for warmth/comfort, I guess).

Mum (I think) also getting some sleep, head turned around beneath her wing, quite close up on the tower cam, but occasionally looking around.

Roger (AT) said...

The falcon is preparing breakfast .. seen on the pudding-cam. Shot to Flickr shortly.

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast was served by the falcon, just before 6am.

I must say that I am surprised how orderly they feed; they stand and wait for a portion, stroll off when temporarily sated, return peacefully for another beakfull.

I had imagined a rather wilder pushing and shoving scene, like dinner time at school might be.

Derby has rather well mannered peregrines!

The falcon has just finished with feeding them, and flown off - 06:13 web-cam-time.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 11.54pm
Looks like the chicks aresleeping in this morning.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phoebe said...

Just put some pix on flickr of the Falcon preening, interesting to see what you think

Julie said...

Lunch time, courtesy of Mum I think ....

Phoebe said...

What looks like mum has just been scratching around the left side of the scrape as if looking for something, food maybe. She has flown off now and is in view on the pudding cam.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the watchpoint today was rained off but the forecast for the week-end is improving so hopefully friday and saturday should be OK
Chris M

Phoebe said...

Chicks just had a really good feed. The falcon is fed them one by one until they were full and turning away. I think it was Tiddler who had loads of food. They are really growing now and looking much more intrepid.

Will put pics on flickr soon.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Thanks for the update @Phoebe - the little perishers always wait till my back's turned before feeding. As we all keep saying, they are growing so strong so quickly. Did anyone have an answer (or a theory) about how they caught that brown rat once - was the thing dead already? Right, I'm off to law school up in Buckingham, I'll catch up when I get home. If I'm really lucky, I'll catch a glimpse of the barn owl I sometimes see on the journey home.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Sue: the rat issue: probably the peregrine was on the ground somewhere - maybe taking a wash who knows - when a rat appeared close by and it just grabbed it! That's my theory anyway!
Generally, apart from bats taken on the wing, mammals are just about non-existent as prey for peregrines.
Nick B (DWT)

Karen Anne said...

You can really see the difference in the chicks in terms of feather development according to their age.

Karen Anne said...

I just put a picture on flicker of the oldest(?) exercising his soon to be grown up not so downy wings.

Helen said...

@Karen Anne - I was reading yesterday about how the male chicks tend to loose their downy feathers before the female chicks which develop more slowly. I don't know if that's true in this case. I also read that male birds tend to fledge sooner than the females. I guess we will just have to wait and see....

Anonymous said...
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Roger (AT) said...

@Nick B (DWT):
I was interested by your comment that peregrines sometimes caught bats! Have you recorded that in Derby?

It is hard to imagine that they would have a high enough success rate to make the effort pay. What with the combination of a high speed stoop and the zig-zag flight pattern of a bat. Maybe they stoop a bit slower to gain last second manouverability?

Video evidence is required, it sounds like a good project for a final year student! (More exciting than mine from Loughboro' Uni in 1972 - Forced air oxidation of piggery effluent).

Julie said...

Roger - I bet that discussion goes down well at dinner parties :-)

Roger (AT) said...

@ Julie:
Yes indeed! You can imagine the animated discussions, and postulations strongly defended on the basis of imaginery knowledge.

Great fun.

Anonymous said...

Nature is cruel but we all have to survive the best way we can

Phoebe said...

I have now uploaded pics of the noon feed and the 2pm feed today, for those who may have missed them!

bob said...

Interesting to see that the youngsters have been on the north side of the nest shelf recently. Are the winds from the north or northwest in Derby, and are they more sheltered where they are?
BobofFife

chrisx said...

What a state the 'kids' are managing to make on the platform! It makes me itch to watch them! Developing so fast. How do they learn to hunt? I assume that before they leave the platform they will have learnt to strip a carcase without M&D's help?

Phoebe said...

@ Chris, I think the parents will start to bring food and eat it in front of them, in fact I have already seen them plucking the prey in front of the chicks and they watch with interest. The next stage is when the chicks will start to 'help themselves' having watched how mum and dad do it.

I think near to fledging the parents will just drop the prey off at the nest and leave them to it.

If I am wrong I'm sure someone will correct me...

Terri said...

I see what you mean about the feathers - two of them are still quite white and fluffy (presumably the females) and the other two look well and truly plucked (presumably the males). It's quite nice to be able to see at a glance which is which. But please can we have some more close-ups?

Terri said...

Right on cue, they've started wandering over to the other side... amazing. Thanks chicks!

Anonymous said...

I believe the weather for Friday is going to be okay - 22 degrees, sunny intervals so should be good for the watchpoint. We're coming up to look at houses again to try and buy one so will try to pop along and see what's happening.

Mary T - Caerphilly - S.Wales

Phoebe said...

Has anyone else noticed the bright lights that light up the scrape, I wonder what it is?

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Roger (AT): re. bats; not recorded in Derby but at other UK sites especially the large (and relatively slow) noctule bat.
Nick Brown (DWT)

Phoebe said...

The chicks are all in a heap and I can't see if there is four there or not!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Thanks re the rat-prey question DWT project member - I was fascinated at the non-flying prey item aspect. And Mary T - I'm dead impressed that you're even moving house to be near "our" wonderful peregrine project. They're certainly worth it though - the thought's crossed my mind several times. I think if I could have my wish, those flats the other side of the the river would be brilliant. And PS - have you all noticed, on the Derby council website, there's a poll to name the wonderful new bridge (ie the one that leads over to my new flat - I wish) I voted for "cathedral bridge" - seems a no brainer to me.
And Roger - are you still in the Forced air oxidation of piggery effluent trade? I can't believe you have to go all the way to Austria for that?

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 8.03pm
Mum and Dad on the pudding cam

Terry, Herts UK said...

Dawn is breaking.

Been watching both adults on tower cam, facing each other. Very alert & possibly awaiting an early breakfast opportunity or a bit more light first.

A little bit of activity from the eyases but they're mostly still huddled up.

Terry, Herts UK said...

I went away for a minute & now see the falcon has some prey which she's busy preparing.

Wow. That was quick (why am I surprised ?!).

A few seconds later and she's feeding the eyases.

All within the space of a couple of minutes.

Webcam time 04:44

Terry, Herts UK said...

Breakfast being served to all 4 - on camera 1, for a change.

Terry, Herts UK said...

That was a full breakfast! About 35 minutes.

Roger (AT) said...

Good Morning Terry!

Good that you were up early and spotted the feeding. I was still snoring!

From your description it sounds like the parents are making another step towards the youngsters learning how to pluck a carcass and then feed themselves.

@ Sue: Thankfully, I moved to Austria in 1992, looking after FMCG product quality in the newly opened East markets.

We have storks locally, and some people build platforms on their houses to encourage nesting. They reconsider it when their washing gets "decorated" or half a frog hits the windowsill!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the watchpoint tomorrow. Hi Sue, we used to live in Derbyshire until 5 years ago, so we are returning home. Really looking forward to being closer to the Peregrine Project and watching these amazing birds. Even more reason to return home - family and birds!

Mary T - Caerphilly, S.Wales

Roger (AT) said...

Second breakfast served at 06:30 WCT. Sorry no pix I am off to the office.

Anonymous said...

Roger, I have captured a pic of the second breakfast on Flickr. Check it out. Jennie, HK.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Feeding time

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi @Mary T, you are truly blessed to be able to look forward to going home to Derby and family and the peregrines and I wish you and your family all the luck and happiness (and I'm very envious!) I'd be up to the watchpoint like a shot tomorrow if I could but we're off on a town exchange to our French twin, so say hi to everyone there for me.
@Roger glad you managed to change trades, and it must be wonderful to have storks too, despite the downsides. We're not noted for our storks here (!) - can't think where on earth ours was off to. Must have lost its way. Although having said that, I do recall there used to be a house in High Wycombe that had a great big plastic tableau effort of nesting storks on the chimney pot - very strange.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

More food just arrived - something small (and unidentifiable)

Phoebe said...

How they are growing! They are losing so much down now and getting flight feathers so quickly, you can see the fluffy 'bloomers' LOL. But one is still very white with down. They are extremely inquisitive and active. I can't wait to see more!

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi Phoebe
re one still small ball of white down - don't forget that the eggs hatched out at (so far as I recall) approximately 2 day intervals. Therefore, the last one, traditionally known as "tiddler", is still a real baby. Fingers crossed for a 100% successful fledge, but it's all part of Nature's Way to ensure the survival of the fittest in case times were to be hard.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Hi Phoebe

The last individual in a raptor clutch is a sort of insurance policy. In times of plenty it will usually get all the nutrition it needs to fledge and join its siblings in flight training. When times are hard the parent birds have to prioritise and, sadly, it is the shrimp who loses out. It's an effective species survival strategy.
The Derby parents seem to be bringing the groceries home pretty reliably so "tiddler" may well do fine.

Julie said...

Has anyone seen a feed since this morning? Or are the parents having a day off?

Martyn said...

When I was outside today - the parents seemed to spend most of the time sitting on the gargoyles watching me watching them.

Julie said...

Aaaaah - food at last!

Terri said...

I bet the babies can't wait to leave that messy cramped nestbox now. I'm surprised they're not tempted to scramble over the edge, but then I suppose they instinctively know not to because they're usually cliff face inhabitors. Good job really. I think there have been one or two falls in the past, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's only ever been directly from fledging rather than accidental drops over the edge!

MEL said...

I can't remember seeing any chicks going over the edge at any stage since I have been watching the peregrines nesting over the last couple of years. However, you are correct when you say there have been mishaps when the babies have been practising their flights. Let's hope there are not any this year!

Roger (AT) said...

Feeding Time again!

@ Jennie (HK) : thanks for posting the screenshots.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Further to my comments about "survival of the fittest", I hasten to add that so far, our very experienced and excellent parenting skilled Derby pair have a 100% record of fledging their family. And as to first fight, sometimes they try before they're completely ready. In non-urban settings, they would normally get away with it and find a landing place - but the Derby tower is a very small target. However, there are so many of us constantly watching that a "rescue squad" would be there immediately. There were some great rescues last year, the highlight for me being the one mounted by the lads drinking in the Dolphin pub with their intrepid laundry basket rescue! I would say there's no way all 4 will go at the same time - each one individually knows its own moment. And there's plenty of wing-strengthening flapping that will go on first.

Phoebe said...

Hi Sue in Bucks
I didn’t see the hatching I have only started watching from about 7 days old, but I do know there is always the ‘young one’.

Hi John B

I do know really that the last one hatched is a kind of insurance policy; I’m just so soft about things like this. Survival of the fittest it is – just hard to watch if they come by hard times. I do hope and think that they will all fledge safely; I will be there to see some of the fledging if not all of it. And yes, I will probably be in tears, I find it so emotional, I am such a mature lover and these birds have won me over!

@ Everyone, thanks for posts and pictures today, I have been unable to watch the cams until now.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Hi Phoebe
I'm sure we'll all have our hearts in our mouths when the momentous moment comes for maiden flights. Most of us were total nervous wrecks at egg hatching time - I think quite a few of us thought egg 4 was NEVER going to hatch ... but it did, of course. What a load of big girls blouses some of us are. You can't count your chickens (or peregrines) till they're hatched but I'm feeling confident super mum and dad peregrine's young will be just fine!

Pam said...

Poor Dad is beginning to look quite dwarfed by a couple of these youngsters!

Karen Anne said...

Pam, girls rule, boys drool :-)

Phoebe said...

Who was it who asked for video evidence of a peregrine catching a bat as prey?

I have located a photograph on another flickr group of a juv. peregrine with a bat. This may suffice as evidence.

We could do with finding a forum to chat about things like this.

Roger (AT) said...

29th May: The youngsters are alone this at the moment, enjoying the warmth of the early morning sun.

It looks like it might be a nice day for the Watch-Point.

Phoebe said...

The chicks are all awake and very active but have not had breakfast yet. I have not seen the parents yet this morning.

Phoebe said...

Mum is plucking prey on the pudding cam.

Phoebe said...

At last! Feed time...

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Anyone at the watch point today or tomorrow might look out for painted lady butterflies. There's a massive northwards migration going on at present stemming from Morocco where this migrant species bred very well in February. Literally thousands have been seen at the coast especially and even inland in 10s or even 100s. Over 40were counted in a short period of time near Derby yesterday.
Butterfly Conservation is organising a two hour count tomorrow (Saturday)- you'll find their website easily for the details....might be fun to take part?
Nick B (DWT)

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Gosh, I didn't even realise painted lady butterflies were migratory (isn't nature constantly amazing!!!) Can't get to Derby, but whilst on the ferry to France, this sounds like a great time to keep the eyes peeled for such things - I guess coastlines, as with bird migration, are a "hot spot"
Today looks a wonderful day for the Watchpoint - enjoy all!

Anonymous said...

What is that rectangular thing in the left tray?
Jo

Karen Anne said...

Jo, I can't see a rectangular thing, but the babies are busy taking up abut half that side.

Anonymous said...

Karen-Anne, Thanks for looking - I can't see it now either. Probably a trick of the light.
Jo

Phoebe said...

I've just had time to put pix on flickr of late breakfast.

Julie said...

18.40 Pigeon pie being served for supper - well, without the pie bit ....

Tracey said...

is that a baby out of the nest ?

Julie said...

It's one of the parents Tracey - I just watched until I could still count 4 in the nest :-)

Phoebe said...

Prey is being plucked on the pud cam...

Tracey said...

Thankyou Julie......I was panicking lol.

Phoebe said...

Feed time...

Julie said...

Tracey - I panic several times a day! With the adult feathers coming through they look "mottled" and are too well camoflauged against the gravel. But I am getting used to the little devils now.....

Roger (AT) said...

It looks like the dawn of another fine day in Derby. (Raining dats and cogs in Austria).

The youngsters are alone at the moment, mostly sitting with their backs to the sun, or doing a few lazy wing stretches.

One has managed to moult most of his(?) fluffy white down and appears quite black against the gravel.
Julie is quite right; whilst they are so mottled in appearance, they blend into the gravel very well. It's hard to tell head from tail unless there is an eye open or a beak in profile.

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast served 08:55 WCT

Julie said...

Morning all! Looks like the babes are alert and enjoying another sunny morning in Derby! One of them is peering out and showing great interest in the big world beyond the nest! One day ....

Terri said...

Good point. Whilst they are so mottled in appearance, they do blend into the background extremely well (bad luck for us!) I wonder if this is nature's way of camouflaging them for protection during this phase, when they are left alone on the nest for longer periods of time and therefore more vulnerable. When they were little white fluffy things that stood out from the background so well, there was generally always one parent or another sitting on them (or very close to them) most of the time, apart from the odd couple of minutes break. It's always good to surmise, whether or not I've hit on the truth!

Julie said...

10.15 - mid morning snack delivered

And y and Chris M said...

Watchpoint Report Saturday 30 May

A beautiful sunny day today in Derby. We had a steady stream of visitors, some new (including a German family) and some now well known to us.

There was little activity from either of the adult peregrines throughout with the male sat on the top right “gargoyle” until he flew off just after midday towards the town centre. The female spent most of the session sat just below the nest platform, in the shade, dozing and occasionally preening although she did do a couple of laps of the Cathedral before returning to her perch.

The chicks performed well, putting on regular displays of wing flapping although it wasn’t until we came away that all four were seen at the same time. By next weekend, they should all have lost most of their down and be spending a lot of time perched on the edge of the platform exercising their wings ready for fledging – a sight definitely worth seeing!

Other sightings were 5 Painted Lady butterflies (we were looking Nick B!) and sparrowhawks – one at midday, a female, flew past us and between the Cathedral and the building to the right carrying a prey item (possibly a Blackbird) but was gone in an instant (are they breeding somewhere nearby?). The other was seen overhead climbing in a thermal before heading off to the south. This didn’t bother our female at all – she just carried on preening as if nothing had happened. Sparrowhawks are obviously considered less of a problem than buzzards!

Thanks again to Celia for coming down to help us.

Phoebe said...

Just to add a little more to the above report.

After Andy and Chris left it was as the Cathedral clock chimed 3:45pm that both parents came back without prey. They sat one on each Gargoyle either side of the central one, for a few minutes there was some screaming and then the Tiercal flew off towards the east – he had not come back when we left at 3pm.

I don’t know if he came back with any prey or if the youngsters had a feed since leaving the Green.

Phoebe said...

I spoke too soon, they are feeding now!

Roger (AT) said...

@ Andy & Chris:
Thanks for the summary. I can see that I will have to pay a visit before the summer is over.

Those painted ladies are certainly spreading out. Two seen in my garden yesterday, (Between Vienna and Bratislava).

@ Phoebe:
I just posted a shot on Flickr for you - with one of the chicks gently taking food from the falcon's beak.
The feeding session is nearly over, just one stalwart chick still standing!

Phoebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoebe said...

This is a big feed it's still going on, I see the youngest got plenty!

Thanks for the picture Roger.

Phoebe said...

Another feed!

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Just wanted to thank all those people who left a comment on some of my shots. It really was nice of you to take the time to do that. After all the frustration I went through trying to learn how to do this it makes it all worth while. Just wish I had better knowledge and equipment as I do so love being creative. These wonderful birds bring even more creativity to my mind. Looking forward to coming back to my home town of Derby in September. Hope this time there will be a bird or two still around. Thank to all who helped me figure out how to capture and save shots also.

Phoebe said...

Did anyone else see the 8pm feed?

I logged on at 8:15pm and caught another feed. It was one of the most interesting feeds I have seen. After a normal feed each chick/juvenile went one at a time into the LHS to be fed by Mum.

Then, (and this is what I’ve been waiting for) I noticed that the second most developed juvenile was in the LHS where Mum gave it some prey and left it to feed on it’s own - S/he was holding the prey in talons and pecking from it, for almost ten minutes plucking food from the prey and quite capable too! I think this is the first time they have done this. The coming days are going to be very exciting.

Mum went to the other side with the others and just left the juvenile to it.

She then flew off up to the Tiercel by the waterspout for a few minutes and returned to the nest with more food and continued to feed them all.

Pix going on flickr now

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Andy & Chris: thanks for your watch point report. Buzzards are potentially somewhat more of a threat to peregrine nests in that this species takes young from the nests of birds like crows whereas sparrowhawks, only hunt birds away from nest sites.
Interesting that you saw some painted ladies. We did a two hour
PL count just outside Derby between 11 and 1pm and counted 26
- whereas folk elsewhere counted many more - especially near the coast.
I forgot to mention that a banded demoiselle damselfly flew past the watch point last Monday - even landing on one lad's arm briefly - superb insects!
Nick B (DWT)

Roger (AT) said...

The youngsters are skulking in the tray, like yesterday morning. Just sitting in the sun, waiting for breakfast to happen.

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast has arrived!

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast finally over at 09:38 WCT.

The prey item was not anything big to start with, I cannot see them getting a second course from that.

As before, the youngsters fed at a leisurely pace; moving in to be fed, moving back for a rest, flapping a bit, then moving back for another portion.

It looked like they took a peck or two themselves, but hard to be sure. Time for another video clip?

Anonymous said...

23 pigeon rings in 18 days of both parents feeding

Anonymous said...

I thought I had 20/20 vision but even my eyes can't see things that are not there :)No doubt the odd ringed lost pigeon or even an odd one from a loft turns up on the menu. A good fit racer is more than a match for a peregrine, especially in a built up area.

Julie said...

Looks like an aerobics class going on - lots of wing flapping! One chick getting perilously close to the edge as well ..... Also a very brave pigeon sitting next to one of the parents on pudding cam - or maybe he knows he is safer there than he would be if he flew away?

Phoebe said...

It looks like one of the juveniles is helping itself to a meal!

Anonymous said...

be a good job when someone comes up with a device that stop peregrines killing pigeons for the sake of both these intelligent birds.